I do love the concept of this poem, though the last verse is a bit congested I would say. The following is a suggestion that I would make to alleviate some of that congestion:
Like falling leaves,
some fly away.
Others are like brittle branches:
when you step on them they break.
There is this one strong root
holding you in place.
That's all you need.
I think that would make for a much smoother read; I do love your conceptualization of friendship and family-hood, and agree -- being adopted myself -- that family most definitely is not restricted to those who birth you.
As for the underlying message, that we are strong trees that can deal with a few leaves falling off and branches falling to the wayside ... it's an important message, one I definitely needed to hear right now.
Edit: As a side-note, this poem is the perfect size and could possibly make a wonderful tree itself. Perhaps try shaping it into one, which will help to further impress the message of us being trees unto the reader. For example:
would make a wonderful tree trunk, and the rest of the piece could easily fill up the trees branches! Just an idea, though!
I love this sweet, sentimental write. The metaphor of a tree's leaves, branches and roots is super, but the way you have constructed their use to describe the different levels of friends, from mere acquaintances (leaves) fair weather friends/ work colleagues (branches) to long term, proven and trusted friends who are often closer than family (roots)
I just love this! Such true words! I had a friend that was the total opposite of me, we would always say that she gave me a look over the edge and I kept her from falling over. Well done Dagmar-hugs! Brenda